In response to the reported release of the former British ambassador Vicky Bowman and her artist husband Htein Lin, who had been jailed in Myanmar’s post-coup crackdown, Polly Truscott, Amnesty International UK’s Foreign Policy Director, said:
“We’re enormously relieved to hear that Vicky Bowman, Htein Lin and political prisoners including U Mya Aye are among the thousands being released from prison. Many should never have been jailed in the first place and there are still thousands of others who’ve been arbitrarily imprisoned in Myanmar need to be released as well.
“Since the February 2021 coup, the authorities in Myanmar have rounded up thousands of people who’ve been jailed on spurious grounds, including for simply exercising their human rights.
“Myanmar has a history of announcing prisoner amnesties at politically opportune times, and today’s releases may have more to do with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting taking place in Thailand this week than any change of heart from the authorities.
“The UK should see today’s releases as another opportunity to press the Myanmar government to release all those who’ve been jailed arbitrarily, as well as calling on the authorities to allow proper independent investigations into the thousands of killings that have taken place in the wake of the coup.”